Obsidian RPG Avowed will only let you pick between two races but it's for a good reason

Two Kith ready for battle with a magic staff and a blackpower pistol
(Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment)

Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming first-person fantasy role-playing game (RPG) Avowed will only have two playable races, according to Nebula Award-winning game director Carrie Patel. 

However, in an interview with IGN, Patel shed some light on why exactly Obsidian had made this decision. The director explained that the protagonist in Avowed is a representative of the Aedyr Empire, which is mostly made up of humans and elves. 

This isn't some spontaneous justification that Patel has pulled out of nowhere, either. The Aedyr Empire also features in Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity RPG series, which is also set in Eora. In these isometric RPGs, Aedyr was predominantly a human and elf-centric culture, showing that there's plenty of in-universe justification for this restriction in Avowed.  

Patel also spoke about the technical challenges that led to this decision, too. "We want to make sure that whatever experience we're offering is smooth and natural and well-paced to the player. And one of the things about the species of Pillars is that I think is a lot easier to account for in an isometric game is just the variation in sizes."

Here, Patel is referring to the races available to players in the Pillars of Eternity series, which, in addition to humans and elves, include stout dwarfs, the towering Aumaua, the compact-sized Orlan, and the magic-touched Godlike. 

While this was easier to manage for an isometric game, Patel expounded on the challenges that would come with making each of these races playable in a first-person title. 

"For each of those [races], especially in first person, you're adjusting the height of the player character's capsule and sort of where their weapons are relative to enemies and how their hits land and how hits land on them. And it's obviously not that any of these things are impossible to solve, but you're always making choices and choosing your priorities and development."

Despite these limitations, we're still very excited for Avowed here at TechRadar Gaming. Given Obsidian's tradition of excellent storytelling, we can't wait to see what the veteran studio pulls off next.

Avowed is slated for release in "fall 2024" - sometime from September onwards, we reckon. The RPG will be coming to Xbox Series X|S and PC. 

Want something to play while you wait? Check out our lists of the best RPGs and the best single-player games.

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent. 

Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure. 

Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.